During the Southern Regional Education Board conference in Nashville, TN in July, I had the opportunity to join forces with Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) (@LitDesignCollab) to interview users of Core Tools and hear their “LDC Story.” This blog series will share stories from the ground on how LDC has impacted teaching experiences and student outcomes.

Susan Haines (@SueHaines) High School English Language Arts Teacher
Fort Smith Public Schools
Fort Smith, AR

My most powerful LDC moment was in 6th period language arts. We had just finished a module on Romeo & Juliet, adolescent brain research and decision-making, when I was notified of a surprise visit from the State Department of Education, local co-op and school district. They were there to see me, and I thought this visit would be the “proof in the pudding” on the efficacy of the module.

I introduced our visitors to my students and they were excited. I shared with the visitors that we had just finished a unit on Romeo and Juliet and offered to open the floor to ask the students about what they had learned. I wanted my students to be relaxed and have a good time telling them what they had learned about adolescent decision-making in this module.

One of the administrators, from another area in the state, stood up and said, “I would like to ask you about metacognition.” My students were not flustered at all. They seemed confident in what they had learned, and one of them stood up and said, “Metacognition is thinking about your thinking. That is what we have been doing with adolescent brain research and Romeo and Juliet.”

They then spent the rest of the time talking with the visitors. They knew the play, they knew how their decision-making is poor at times and they knew strategies for making good decisions.

That was when I knew; that was my powerful moment with LDC.

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Literacy Design Collaborative is a Getting Smart Advocacy Partner.

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